If you are wondering how to cash a personal check, maybe even without a bank account, here’s information that will fix your problem in a matter of minutes!
How to cash personal checks?
Your many options!
Chances are that you are never too far away from a Kmart. Use this Kmart store locator to find one near you. Kmart will cash your two-party personal check as long as the amount is for $500 or less. The fee for check cashing is just $1! What more, fees are completely waived for residents in Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Washington.
Just take a Federally issued valid picture ID with you. Kmart will also cash government checks up to $2,000 and payroll checks up to $2,000. It can easily be your one stop shop for all your check cashing needs, if you don’t have a bank account. If Kmart is open on a Sunday, they will cash your check on a Sunday.
Regions Branch (Even if you don’t have an account)
Regions has over 1,700 branches. If there’s one near you, you can easily use even their Drive Through to get your personal or hand written check cashed. While they don’t require you to have a checking account with Regions, they do waive personal check cashing fees only if you have a Regions checking account number.
If you are not a Region’s bank customer, the following rates apply for your personal check cashing.
If the personal check is issued by Regions bank (What we mean here is that the actual Check is a Regions Bank check)
$10 and less – Free
$10 and greater – 1% of check amount (or $2 Minimum and $20 Maximum)
If the personal check is not issued by Regions Bank (What we mean here is that the actual Check is NOT a Regions Bank check)
Any amount – 3% of check amount (or $3 Minimum fees)
As you can see, cashing your personal check at Regions can become an expensive affair, if you don’t have a checking account with them or if the check you want to cash isn’t a Region’s check.
Giant Eagle Grocery Stores
Giant Eagle has almost 230 grocery stores. If there is one near you, you can try cashing your personal check there. The catch however is that Giant Eagle will only cash your check if you use the money to refill the Giant Eagle Advantage Card (in store card). You can also use your personal check to pay for groceries directly at the checkout line, provided you have an Advantage card and also only when the check amount and potential cash back received does not exceed more than $30 of your purchase amount.
Giant Eagle will use a third party verification before they cash your check. Your check cashing history at Giant Eagle will also be reviewed before a personal check is cashed out.
Ace Cash Express
Ace Cash Express has more than 1,000 stores in more than 20 states in the United States. To find a Ace Cash Express store near you, use this store locator.
Ace Cash Express currently does not specify what fees will be charged for personal check cashing on their official website. However, it will be somewhat similar to local check cashing stores that charge about 3% of the check amount.
Also, their check cashing will be done only after verification.
Searching Google for local check cashing places
Many strip malls will have a small store that is exclusively in business to cash out checks. Though such stores will usually only cash out payroll or government checks, you can call and quickly ask if they will cash handwritten or two-party checks. Some of them might.
When you call, ask if they will cash a hand-written check. Also, ask whether the amount mentioned in your check will be cashed by them (some check cashing places have limits, especially for hand written checks). Lastly, ask them how much the check cashing will cost.
Some of these local check cashing places can charge up to 5% for cashing out personal checks!
The problem with personal checks or handwritten checks is that the check cashing place taken on a lot of risk when they give you cash in exchange for a piece of paper. Unlike payroll checks or government checks, there is no established pattern to let the check cashing place know that your check’s issuer will have a sufficient balance.
If you do cash a personal check and it bounces, the check cashing place will eventually come after you. They will do so using your contact information provided on your driver’s license. In some cases, you might have to provide a copy of your recent utility bill as well, so the check cashing place knows where you live. But, this collection process will take time and effort and will not always be fruitful. It is because of this risk that check cashing places will charge up to 5% of the check amount, to cash out a personal check for you.
Open a checking account to cash your personal check for free
The most ideal way to cash out a personal check is to open a checking on savings account. Once you have opened an account, you can approach the teller or drive through of the bank and deposit the check. If the check is from the same state, there is a very good chance that it will be credited on the same business day.
Even out of state checks will also take only a maximum of 2 business days. Depending on the bank you choose to open a checking or savings account in, you will also have the convenient option to deposit your personal check online, to cash it out. All you have to do it upload a picture or scan of the check you possess. Once verified and approved, it will reflect in your account.
If your credit isn’t great and your credit history is spotty, chances are that you don’t want to open a bank account anywhere, for fear of losing your money. This is a very valid fear, as banks do have the option to seize your money (it is called setting off in banking terms) if you have past dues with them.
However, if you approach the banks where you have defaulted and work out a repayment plan, there is no reason why you can use a checking account to deposit personal and other checks, without running the risk of seeing your money vanish.
P.S. Walmart does not cash personal checks. A lot of people assume that Walmart cashes personal checks, just because Kmart does. However, they don’t. Walmart does cash government checks, payroll checks, tax rebate checks etc though.
If you want to cash your personal check online, you may look at our post on how to cash checks online.